Man accused of being Bin Laden bodyguard to be freed

Man accused of being Bin Laden bodyguard to be freed

PanARMENIAN.Net - A U.S. government review panel has determined a man from Yemen detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for more than a decade can be released, BBC News reports.

Mahmud Mujahid, 33, had been accused of being an al-Qaeda fighter and bodyguard to Osama Bin Laden. He was held at the detention centre since 2002 but never formally charged.

He was the first to appear before a review board convened by U.S. President Barack Obama in an effort to close down Guantanamo, which houses 155 men. The six-member review panel determined he no longer posed a continuing significant threat to the U.S. on Thursday, Jan 9.

He was reportedly one of dozens of prisoners previously deemed too dangerous for release but who could not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence or adequate jurisdiction.

A Pentagon spokesman told U.S. media no decision had yet been made on when Mujahid would be released from the facility.

"It's been a long time coming," Mujahid's lawyer, David Remes, told the AP. "He never should have been held and now after 12 years he should be reunited with his family. There is no longer any excuse for keeping him at Guantanamo."

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